New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is announcing the start of early bear hunting seasons across New York state.
Bowhunting season for bears also begins on Sept. 16 in St. Lawrence County in units (wildlife management units 6A, 6G, 6K and 6N).
A description of the units’ locations is at goo.gl/gCh1m8.
Muzzleloader season opens in all northern WMUs on Oct. 14, followed by the regular firearms season for bears on Oct. 21.
During the Early Season, bear hunters may use a bow (with appropriate bowhunting eligibility), crossbow, muzzleloader, handgun, shotgun, or rifle (where allowed). Because of the likelihood of warm weather, hunters should be prepared to skin and cool harvested bears as soon as possible to protect the quality of the meat. Hunters may opt to skin and quarter the bear in the field, then pack out the meat in game bags to a waiting cooler of ice.
From roasts, stews, burger, and sausage to barbequed ribs, bear meat makes excellent table fare. Also, many hunters render bear fat into grease or lard, which is a great oil for cooking or baking. It can also be used to waterproof leather or lubricate patches for muzzleloaders, according to DEC.
DEC regulates black bear hunting to manage populations levels and limit the frequency of human-bear conflicts. Information about black bear hunting in New York, including season dates regulations, is available on DEC’s website. Additionally, DEC’s booklet Hunting the Black Bear in New York (PDF, 800 KB), includes tips on bear hunting and proper care of harvested bears.